Horses To Follow » Third Wind

Third Wind

Third Wind ran well in the Pertemps Final to finish fourth behind Sire Du Berlais and The Storyteller. Held up early on by Tom O’Brien, his jumping wasn’t overly fluent through the early stages of the race, and he was probably further back in the field as a result than his rider would have wanted. No better than fourth last or fifth last as they raced to the top of the hill with just three flights to jump, he made ground as they raced down the hill to the third last flight and, still only 14th or 15th as they raced to the home turn, he picked up well from the top of the home straight. While he couldn’t go with the first two home as they quickened, he stayed on well up the hill to just hold the fast-finishing Relegate for fourth place.

It was a fine run by Hughie Morrison’s horse for one so inexperienced. He is only six, he was the only six-year-old to finish in the first six here, and he was the only British-trained horse to finish in the first five. Also, this was just his sixth run over hurdles, and it was his first since he won a Pertemps qualifier at Wincanton on St Stephen’s Day. He was a progressive novice hurdler during the 2018/19 season, he won the big EBF novices’ handicap hurdle final at Sandown’s Imperial Cup meeting on his final run that season and, after a fairly inconclusive run over fences at Huntingdon in November 2019 on his seasonal debut, he returned to hurdles to win that Pertemps qualifier.

It may be that connections will have another go at chasing next season, but he will be of even greater interest if he remains over hurdles. The handicapper left him on his mark of 141 after this, and that is a mark that should be well within his capabilities. You can’t say that he didn’t stay the trip, but it may be that an extended two and a half miles suits him better than three.

Cheltenham 12th March, 2020